Award-winning writer and journalist Radhika Sanghani is known for her feminist stance, writing about anything from gender issues and social affairs to lifestyle features, for publications such as The Guardian, Grazia, and the BBC. She’s also the author of two millennial comedy novels. But all these achievements seem frivolous almost, when you count the movement she seems to have started on social media: breaking the big-nose taboo.
“Getting a nose job is something I have debated since I realized it was possible, aged 11,” she wrote in a now-iconic piece for the Evening Standard. “I’ve imagined my face with a smaller nose and the life that would go along with it: more confidence, more friends and more dates. But I never went through with it, even when my mum offered to pay for the surgery when I was 17. I was too scared. […] I couldn’t bear the thought of having a new nose and then realizing the problem wasn’t my nose; it was me.”
“And then suddenly, this year, everything changed,” she added, candidly. “It hit me that this one insecurity had been ruling my life for 27 years. It had held me back from living my life to the fullest, to the point at which I almost turned down TV appearances to promote my work as a journalist and author because the camera would capture my face side-on. I knew I had to face my fears. So, after weeks of anxiety, I took my first-ever side profile selfie and posted it on social media with the hashtag #sideprofileselfie. ‘I’m breaking the big-nose taboo,’ I wrote. ‘Join me.”’
A couple of years passed but the movement isn’t showing signs of slowing down. In fact, it spread so quickly that within hours it was written about on hundreds of websites around the world, from the United States to Australia. “It has now reached millions, and more than 10,000 men and women have sent me their selfies, all with messages I completely relate to,” writes Sanghani. “It showed them an alternative view: that big noses could be beautiful and not something to be hidden or fixed by surgery.”